A Report on the Restoration of Siena, Italy Through the Contributions of Sculptors, Painters, and an Architect

A Report on the Restoration of Siena, Italy Through the Contributions of Sculptors, Painters, and an Architect

Document details
Category: Travel and Tourism Essay
Subcategory: American Literature
Words: 5079
Pages: 18

As the Rome commuter bus arrives in Siena, Italy, I view a tourist-filled, medieval hill town with structures seemingly past their prime. Once I enter the walled village, the towns famous Gothic cathedral rises over the Tuscan countryside the town lacks any sense of Renaissance glory. Overshadowed by the Florentines and their humanistic concepts, Siena is traditionally described as a stronghold of the late art of the Middle Ages. Historians and tour guides view the city as a quaint Tuscan Middle Ages settlement with no recognized creativity of the Renaissance and credit the Black Death for triggering an unrecoverable economic and political decline. As I leave the central piazza and merge into the citys sleepy interior, I begin to question if any sense of the Italian Renaissance resides in this city? Within a day, among the climbs, descents, and winding narrow streets, I discover a comparatively underappreciated Renaissance city. Within palaces and hospitalswhich are now museumssculptures, paintings and architectural gems emerge and rival the legendary Renaissance treasures featured in the renowned, art-filled city of Florence. In this paper, I illustrate how a sculptor, two fresco painters, and an architect created a Renaissance brilliance that restored their citys vitality. In support of this discovery, I offer an analysis of the following Sienese quattrocento creations the Fonte Gaia, a sculpture of civic pride created by Jacopo della Quercia (1374-1448) the Ospedale Santa Maria dell Scala Pilgrims Hall frescoes of Lorenzo de Pietro (1410-1480) and Domenico di Bartolo (1400-1445) and, the Palazzo delle Papesse designed by Antonio Federighi (1444-1490).Sienas HistoryAn investigation of early Renaissance art in Siena must take into account the citys history given that Sienas quattrocento art reflects the citys heritage and its historical relationship with Florence, located 45 miles to the north. Siena was settled during the time of the Etruscans (900-400 B.C.E) who brought irrigation to land not farmable and defended the property by building forts. In 1 B.C.E., Emperor Augustus founded a Roman...

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